Making CDP for midwives available online

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) sees exponential up-take of new online learning environment

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team in the UK.

Moving to Moodle

In November 2010, RCM launched a bespoke virtual learning environment (VLE) which quickly grew from five to 30 modules. Although this bespoke system was becoming increasingly popular among members, Jacqui Hall, e-Learning Project Worker at RCM, could see restrictions ahead. “I knew we could benefit from a Moodle-hosted service as we needed a VLE which could grow the e-learning offer to meet the needs of members while providing a platform which would integrate with the newly selected ePortfolio system, Mahara.”

One challenge Hall faced during the shift from the restrictive bespoke platform to the popular open source VLE Moodle, was the time-consuming challenge of extracting items and placing them onto the ULCC Moodle servers. With 30 courses on their bespoke system and no way to easily import the files into Moodle, the team had to copy the information page by page.

Since the new service launched in June 2014, Hall has noticed a sharp increase in members using the VLE.

“In just over six months we have seen our VLE users reach the 5,000 mark. It took three-and-a-half years for us to reach 8,000 users on the bespoke system and we fully expect for it to surpass the 8,000 users within the first year of using Moodle.” 

The change in VLE platforms has allowed Hall to overhaul the e-learning service on offer to current and prospective members. With the inclusion of Moodle elements, such as the Quiz and Book modules, the RCM is now giving members the level of learning engagement which was not available in the previous system. 

Looking to the Future

The RCM wishes to further grow its offering by developing a further range of e-learning modules, encouraging the use of Mahara to support newly introduced rules around midwife revalidation and working closely with ULCC to further develop the system. Hall and her team are currently developing an activity log to support the work of the RCM’s trade union representatives tracking their training and development needs.The RCM is also hoping to grow its international membership, making available e-learning to all midwives who sign up internationally. By implementing these developments, Hall is hoping to see substantial growth in VLE engagement and membership numbers, within the next six months. 

Hall and the team at RCM look forward to working with ULCC in the future to further develop their Moodle to meet the changing needs of all its members.

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